Liverpool’s Gerrard one of the best players at Euro 2012 – Hodgson
Roy Hodgson heaps praise on captain Steven Gerrard after England come from a goal down to beat Sweden at Euro 2012
Roy Hodgson hailed captain Steven Gerrard as one of the best players at Euro 2012 after England sealed their first victory of the tournament with a dramatic comeback against Sweden.
Andy Carroll nodded Gerrard’s cross home to edge England into the lead in the 23rd minute – but Sweden defender Olof Mellberg squeezed home his finish and then nodded in a second shortly after to give his country the lead.
England appeared to be in disarray but substitute Theo Walcott fired home an equaliser from the edge of the box in the 64th minute, before the Arsenal winger’s smart run and cross teed up Danny Welbeck, who flicked the winner past Andreas Isaksson in the Sweden goal with 12 minutes to play.
“Steven has been fantastic ever since I was given the job,” said Hodgson. “My first thought was to contact him and since then he hasn’t put a foot wrong as a captain, a person or a player.
“He’s playing like a captain should, as one of the best players in the tournament.”
Hodgson also reserved special praise for Walcott, who inspired England to victory with his second-half cameo in Kiev.
“Theo’s contribution was enormous,” Hodgson told BBC Sport. “To come on as a sub and score such a good goal and set up a winner, he’s got to be very pleased.
“I believe in him. He’s a good player and has good qualities.”